There are 6 ways to help hedgehogs
- Plant a hedge – a hedge is the perfect garden habitat, allowing easy access between gardens and room for piles of leaves to accumulate beneath it, where they can forage, hibernate and raise their young.
- Cut holes under your fence – one of the best things you can do for hedgehogs is to allow them access to your garden. Simply cut a hole 12cm x 12cm in the bottom of your fence.
- Make ponds safe – a deep pond with steep sides is a hedgehog death trap. They can swim but quickly become exhausted and cannot get out. Ensure the pond has sloping sides or drape thick rope netting over one side or place a log at one end to act as a ladder.
- Make a hedgehog box – they need a safe, dry place to raised young and hibernate. Ideally cover it with plastic sheeting and a layer of leaves, and make an entrance tunnel (around 12cm x 12cm and 40cm long) to prevent predators getting in. Site it under a north-facing hedge out of the way.
- Leave out extra food – while provision of natural food is the best option for hedgehogs, give them a helping hand with supplementary food, especially before and after hibernation. Offer meat-based dog or cat food, preferably chicken or turkey flavour and avoid leaving out bread and milk as this can dehydrate and kill hedgehogs
- Grow native plants – native plants such as honeysuckle, dog rose, hawthorn and blackthorn are caterpillar food plants for a wide range of moths, which lay eggs on the leaves. Most moth caterpillars descend to the ground to pupate before becoming an adult, where they become nourishing food for passing hedgehogs.